So it's Easter Monday.
After the emotional ups and downs of the past three days, we could be pretty spent today. The last three days have brought shock, fear, depression, dejection, and finally exhileration and well, some doubt that all of this could be true. Ups and downs, for sure.
But today, all that is past. What do we do now? Now that Easter has passed, so what?
If we are really Easter people, Monday brings the realization that we aren't dead, and that there is work to be done. Much has not changed; we are going to work or school; maybe we're going to look for work or care for kids. In any case, today is going to look much the same as last Monday. As far as our outward daily routine goes, much has not changed.
And there's the rub. The world seems to go on just as it did. Eventually, we know that the exhileration and expansion of Spring will give way to the hot, dry staleness of Summer. What is there to keep that from happening?
From outward forces, nothing really. But inwardly the challenge is to let the realizations of Easter take deep root in our souls. Roots which will be able to drink from the spirit-refreshing water of the Spirit.
As that spring continuously wells up inside us, it will bear us up and carry us along through the lengthening days. Bear us up so that we can remember that we are Easter people; that our baptisms - our deaths to ourselves - are real for us. Disciples who live into their baptized lives see the world through different lenses, and from a different space. We stand knowing that death is not the end and at the same time that this life isn't necessarily easy (if Jesus' life is any indication). If death isn't the end, then this life isn't driven toward death, but through death.
It is our glimpse of what is past death and what has been brought into this life now. The rule of God in ourselves. Our transformation. Our living with God and He in us. The purpose of our existence now becomes one with God's will and desire. Not looking to escape this world but learning to want to live in this life as God did. To see the suffering, the disorderedness, the confusion, the violence and to extend the grace of God and the knowledge of God to the world that He made.
The knowledge of God is not about God - that He exists or what are the aspects of His existence (as though we know them exhaustively). Knowledge of God is the knowledge of His character, His purposes, His Life.
Easter people are called to this. There is no other purpose for Easter as far as we are concerned. God has once again demonstrated both His love and His power in the Creation and it is our choice whether humankind will again forget Him, and His will for us.
The challenge of Easter Monday is to settle in, but not settle. The challenge of Easter Monday is to keep moving, but in a new direction. The challenge of Easter Monday is to give in, but not to give up.
This is our challenge of living as people of God - to keep His desires ahead of us. To follow Him instead of ourselves. To surrender ourselves to be given ourselves back with transformed hearts refreshed by the Spirit. To spend our lives in His Life. To receive His blessings so that we can bless the Creation.
Your prayer for Easter Monday:
Our great God who has suprised us; and caused us to express great praise for your wonder working. You who gives your Son to die and then raises Him again. You who has set the stars in their courses and at the same time crafts us in finite detail.
We praise you for your goodness and grace; for your patience and mercy in outworking your will for the world despite not being understood and often ignored by us, your very creation.
As the events of Easter fade, renew in us your Spirit to invigorate our faith and to keep you before us so that we will not forget you. Extend to us your grace so that we might surrender to you and in so doing learn to love being You in this place not for our benefit but for the blessing of others.
Remind us of Easter and our own baptisms; of our own deaths and the Life we can have now.
Make us truly into Easter people, bringing you to this world.